Chelsea begin search for Mendy and Kepa replacements

FT Desk
FT Desk
  • 27 Nov 2022 09:27 GMT
  • 3 min read
Chelsea goalkeepers Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy.

Edouard Mendy has been replaced by Kepa Arrizabalaga as Chelsea No.1 since Graham Potter succeeded Thomas Tuchel as manager, but it appears that neither goalkeeper truly has the faith of the club.

Mendy and Kepa have cost Chelsea a combined €104 million in transfer fees, the latter's €80m arrival from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 making him the most expensive goalkeeper of all time.

Chelsea had rather panicked when it became clear Thibault Courtois was leaving on a free transfer to Real Madrid after helping Belgium to third place at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and they paid over the odds for Kepa.

READ: Kepa and the 10 most expensive goalkeepers of all time

Whilst his ball-playing ability remains intact, his ability to stop crosses and long-range shots was questionable at best, and he was replaced by to €24m Mendy in 2020, with fellow former Rennes goalkeeper and Chelsea legend Petr Cech playing a key role in the transfer.

But Cech has since left the club, and with Tuchel replaced by Potter, a manager who puts greater onus on his No.1's skill when in possession, Kepa has now regained his place from Mendy… for now.

Potential solutions

According to reports, Chelsea have misgivings about both of their senior shot-stoppers and are looking for a new No.1 with Gabriel Slonina - a €9.1m summer arrival from Chicago Fire - still deemed too young to don the gloves at Stamford Bridge.

READ: Chelsea outcast Edouard Mendy could move to Premier League rivals

"With doubts over both Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga as their No.1 for the long term, The Athletic has been told by more than one source connected to the club that they have started looking at potential candidates to replace them as first choice," confirmed a recent report.

Which goalkeeper Chelsea move for remains to be seen, although Diogo Costa and Jordan Pickford have both reportedly been considered in recent weeks. The Blues also wanted Thomas Strakosha in the summer before he left Lazio for Brentford.